It's All Good?
Dr. Doug Posey
Sometimes we have expectations when it comes to being blessed, some of which God never intended to fulfill. We call those unrealistic expectations. For example, in my 40+ year trek of faith, I’ve noticed that what should be considered the “icing on the cake” of our Christianity, some expect to be the actual cake of blessing and then wonder why God doesn’t hand out daily, generous slices as a perpetual part of the walk, or diet, of the believer.
These dear saints set themselves up for disappointment with God when they seem to be receiving only the crumbs of circumstantial blessings. Thus, some begin to question God. I’ve even seen a few walk away from the faith over what they interpret as proof of there being no God since God won’t meet their preconceived standards of blessing. In other words, there are those whose entire faith is dependent upon whether or not God blesses them in the way they assume He should bless them.
A careful study of the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-12) might help all of us really gain the right perspective and thus not be disappointed with God in the area of blessing. Jesus lists descriptions of those who are blessed, happy, or fortunate.
They aren’t quite what we would expect and no doubt caused His audience—the one actually there on that day He spoke—some consternation, despite their being impressed with His overall sermon (Matt. 7:28). “Blessed are those who...mourn...who are persecuted...who are reviled,” etc. Really? That just seems so contrary to our idea of blessing. Perhaps that means our idea of blessing needs to change.
Wendi and I recently met one of our missionary friends for breakfast. He shared stories of what was happening in a part of the world unfriendly to Christianity, to say the least. In an area dominated by another faith, being a believer in Christ makes you a distinct minority. If you commit your life to Christ, you have made a real commitment, one that could cost you your life! In fact, many of these converts had become trained pastors with churches whose families and flocks had paid heavy prices for following Jesus. Many had given their lives.
Our friend told us about specific pastors who once had homes that were burnt down leaving their families to live in the bush. Their congregations, formerly worshipping in buildings, were meeting outside, desperately trying to avoid further persecution. Yet, oddly enough, these believers expressed a sense of blessing. They felt blessed to be counted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ! As our friend shared that response on the part of these believers in a foreign land, it sounded so New Testament, so Book of Acts. And that’s exactly where such an attitude toward suffering for Christ can be found. After Peter and the Apostles were taken before the Council in Jerusalem and testified about Christ, they were flogged. Their response? “Why me Lord? Here I am serving You and this is the thanks I get!?” Not quite! Instead, we see this:
“So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.” (Acts 5:41)
They had a heavenly perspective! When Jesus said, for example, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6), that righteousness is yet to come! Heaven is a place where we will literally be gorged on righteousness (the literal meaning of “filled” in that verse). You look forward to a world where righteousness will surround you. Quite the opposite of this world! You can mope through life saying, “I don’t feel blessed, I don’t feel blessed…” or, you can claim the promises of blessings—spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3)—that are yours in Christ when you identify with Him, whether in suffering, sacrifice, or celebration. It’s all good!
“But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed” – PETER 3:14 NASB